Before you roll your eyes at the title of Bob Hawkinson’s book on living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, consider his idea for a moment: “The Joy of Diabetes.” There could be joy…like…happiness in living with diabetes?
You might say, “Oh, puhh-leeeze.”
But I hear where Bob is coming from and while I read his book, “The Joy of Diabetes,” I found myself smiling! Now, sure, I’ve always been pretty keen on the looking at the brighter side of diabetes, too, but Bob’s take on living with diabetes was written with words that anyone young or old can appreciate.
In fact, I definitely think this should be on the reading list for any child diagnosed with diabetes, but I’ll also dare to say that so many adults could benefit from an uplifting reminder that living with diabetes doesn’t have to be a miserable experience.
Bob himself has lived with Type 1 diabetes since 1963, has a background in martial arts, a healthy family, and an overall happiness with the life he lives.
A few excerpts from the book I especially appreciated:
“If you are diabetic and if you are depending on your doctors, your daddy, your uncle, aunt, brother, sister, son, daughter, spouse or even your momma to keep you in line, you are not being fair to yourself or to them.”
This speaks loud and clear to me! When it comes right down to it, this disease is each individual person’s responsibility. No amount of support and ra-ra from our friends and family can make up for not putting in the real work and effort ourselves.
Another part of Bob’s book I found incredibly touching was his story about the young teenagers who teasingly threw an orange at him while he struggling to bike home with a dangerously low blood sugar. The orange saved his life!
Bob also adds his own unique way of explaining diabetes, and it is absolutely something a child living with diabetes could understand instantly. He relates our relationship with diabetes to our relationship with a friend, and how important it is to take care of our friend and our relationship with them! When we neglect our friend, he gets angry, and he makes it very known. When we spend time with him, give him what he needs, he’s happy.
The overall motivation behind Bob’s book is that he has met too many folks who live with this disease and simply feel angry. Angry enough to neglect their diabetes altogether. Bob is not a perfect diabetic, and he certainly doesn’t claim that if you follow A, B and C then diabetes should be easy, but he emphasizes quite clearly how the way we think about our diabetes determines how it effects our life.
As the diabetes in the form of a friend says, “Whether you choose to accept me or not, I’m still here…”
The concepts in this book may seem simple to many people with diabetes: take care of your diabetes and life is easier. But imagine putting this book in the hands of an 8 year-old who was just diagnosed?